There’s not long to go before we say goodbye to 2021, and there’s so much going on in Melbourne. From epic new events to gorgeous pop-up shops and free festivals. Here’s our list of must-do summer activities to tick off before 2022 rolls around.

Make the most of MPavilion’s free program

If you’ve spotted the giant silver and neon yellow structure in Queen Victoria Gardens, that’s MPavilion. The architecture and design event is in the swing of its biggest season yet. There are 152 days of free performances, talks, workshops and more. The December events lineup is stacked. How about Pilates in the park? Or an outdoor DJ dance party?

Have a fashion moment at NGV’s Chanel exhibit

If you’ve ever wanted to see those chic Chanel suits up close, this is your chance. Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto. is a celebration of the designer’s most timeless and elegant pieces. Be among the first to lay eyes on never-before-seen styles at this international debut. You’ll also see some of her iconic bags, perfumes and blingy jewellery.

A woman looking at a designer gown in a gallery, surrounded by screens.
Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto.

Chill out at IceBar

Starting to feel the heat as summer settles in? Throw on a fur coat (trust us here) and head inside the Arctic-cold IceBar. This cool cocktail bar in the Atrium at Federation Square stays a frosty -10°C all year round. Bundle up in the snow capes, gloves and Ugg boots available at the bar. Then sip on-theme cocktails like a Russian snowstorm. That’s a white Russian with Frangelico and white choc syrup. 

Browse the Postal Lane Markets

Whether you’re doing some last-minute Christmas shopping (we won’t tell) or you just want to treat yourself, take a stroll through these laneway markets. Located behind the GPO in tiny Postal Lane, you’ll find a curated range of stalls from local artists and makers. The markets run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday but Fridays are for the foodies. Load up on street food, baked bites and cocktails from laneway eateries and pop-ups.

People walking past the entrance to a laneway market.
Postal Lane Markets

See an open-air show at the Malthouse Theatre

Pull up a chair under the starry sky, the Malthouse Outdoor Stage is back for another summer of entertainment. Catch live open-air performances from some of the best local music, comedy, theatre, cabaret and circus acts. Grab some wood-fired pizza and a drink from the bar and enjoy the show. On the slate for December is a cabaret comedy set on a luxury cruise liner. And smooth tunes from '70s light rockers Yacht Rock Revival. All aboard!

Shop the new pop-up stores 

Check out these brand new shops before they’re gone. Browse for rainbow-bright clothes and accessories in Elk’s new Carlton outpost. Or casual-cool Melbourne-made menswear at Informale on Little Collins. Then pop next door to the Millinery Collective and watch the talented milliners at work in their studio. Try on incredible hats or commission a bespoke design of your own. Flash Forward is a must-see for art and music lovers. Snap up some exclusive vinyl pressings and support local artists.

Last updated on Tue 4 Jan 2022

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Festivals

Melbourne's festival calendar is jam-packed with film, comedy, arts, music, food and design.

9 Dec - 31 Mar

Lauren Carney: MC Mart

Explore Lauren Carney's art installation at Melbourne Central all summer long.

17 Dec - 31 Jan

Boxed In: A Walk-by Window Project

A walk-by window art project in a former men's shelter.

6 Dec - 28 Aug

NGV Architecture Commission: Pond[er]

An outdoor installation, complete with a pink pond.